I have never gotten so much attention from strangers just because of the type of dog on the other end of the leash!
I was in Bayswater one night, walking past the ATM, trying to keep Barbie's mind off the trains swooshing past (she is scared of them but getting over it). An old white Mercedes pulled up, and the passenger leapt out, and ran to the ATM like he was in a huge hurry. Then as he turned to go back to the car, he spotted Barbie.
"WOW! It's a greyhound!" he exclaimed, and then proceeded to show how little he knows about greys by lunging towards her and trying to lay a heavy hand on her head.
"My Uncle used to breed and race greyhounds!" he says. She shied away from him a couple of times, while Bender, the more stranger-friendly of the two dogs was desparately trying to get his attention, bouncing around and trying to lick him. Eventually he patted Bender, who rewarded him with more licks.
He insisted in asking me questions about Barbie - did she race? How did I end up with her? What was she like as a pet?
I know that as a greyhound owner in a place which doesn't realise they make good pets, I am part of a frontier, and I have to run public relations for her breed. So I stop and smile and try to keep both dogs under control, and answer his questions.
"She was never that interested in chasing. She was adopted out through Greyhounds as Pets. She is a great pet, not demanding at all but becoming quite affectionate and lovely to have around."
He looked back at the white Mercedes parked on the side of the road, and presumably his mate who was waiting.
"Sorry," he said, "they're just so beautiful."
With that he jumped in the car and sped off.
We took her to the dog beach at Waterman's Bay in North Beach. Most people were interested in her. I had to retrieve her and leash her because she was being a bit rough with a small dog. I ran up and down the beach with her so she felt better about being leashed. Some random woman with a toddler started asking me the same questions, because I had to stop to avoid the toddler being mown down by a crazy black dog.
There is another new greyhound owner who has a black boy, who is a little bigger than Barbie, called Jerry. Jerry is four, and he definately looks like less of a pup than Barbie. Barbie looks gangly and unweildy when she runs, and it makes me think that she has some maturity in her body and muscles to come yet. Anyway, I asked Jerry's dad if he had the same experiences when out walking Jerry. He said "hell yeah".
I'm glad I'm not the only one.
I guess I would have appreciated all this attention more when I was younger, and a little more 'edgy'. But nowadays sometimes I just want to continue on my walk!